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E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems

Sharona Hoffman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Andy Podgurski, Case Western Reserve University

Abstract

In the foreseeable future, electronic health record (EHR) systems are likely to become a fixture in medical settings. The potential benefits of computerization could be substantial, but EHR systems also give rise to new liability risks for health care providers that have received little attention in the legal literature. This Article features a first of its kind, comprehensive analysis of the liability risks associated with use of this complex and important technology. In addition, it develops recommendations to address these liability concerns. Appropriate measures include federal regulations designed to ensure the quality and safety of EHR systems along with agency guidance and well crafted clinical practice guidelines for EHR system users. In formulating its recommendations, the Article proposes a novel, uniform process for developing authoritative clinical practice guidelines and explores how EHR technology itself can enable experts to gather evidence of best practices. The authors argue that without thoughtful interventions and sound guidance from government and medical organizations, this promising technology may encumber rather than support clinicians and may hinder rather than promote health outcome improvements.

Suggested Citation

Sharona Hoffman and Andy Podgurski. "E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems" Berkeley Technology Law Journal (2010).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sharona_hoffman/7